Autumn came on hard today the drop in temperature not unexpected in these climes, but still unwanted, forcing the closing of windows. Still, as the afternoon faded, I shouted toward the window a reminder not to go gently into night to fight the soon approaching dark. The squirrel on the lawn outside the window stood, forepaws held together as if deep in prayer and stared back at me, seemingly incredulous, so I loudly repeated my entreaty. He shook both head and tail, then said, “For God’s sake man, if you want to be the next Dylan Thomas have several more drinks, and please next time try and get the lines right!” He turned and headed up the old maple.
He knew he should not have brought the gun. He hated guns, they served no purpose in his world of words. He wanted to look at it, to stare at it, really. He thought that if he did so he might be better able to write about the senselessness of the world in which he lived, a world he so very much wanted to change. He had the gun. He knew what he had to do. He shot a hole in the forehead of the picture of Anton Chekhov that hung on the wall over his desk.
Krevchinsky froze his ass off on the Siberian plain. The gray concrete box was traded for concrete gray skies, the whistle of the truncheon gives way to winter’s blasts. It was in many ways easier when the beatings came neatly marking the days dividing days between pain and exhaustion, all under the watchful eye of the meek incandescent sun dangling from the ceiling. In the camp day and night are reflections of an unseen clock, seasons slide from discontent to depression. The prison of the body is finite built block on block, the prison of the soul is vast, empty, dissipating life.
First appeared in HazMat Review, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1996) and later in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 30, Nos. 1-2 (2006).
imagine these words written end to end, each well known but the order setting this apart, in a long single line with a half twist Moebius-like, and not on a page but a band like life nothing discrete a continuum each word the only word each moment the only moment if you wish
Charing Cross Road booksellers woven amid theatres cramped sagging shelves an out of print Christine Evans, slim, collected works of those long forgotten never noticed a damp chill enfolds old leather as the door opens and shuts on a late February. Morning, my purchases sink in the plastic bag dancing as I walk to the tube at Leicester Square with my new gems destined to cause a sag in my bookcase.